What does +1d4 mean in Baldur’s Gate 3?

Video games? In my algebra?!

In true classic RPG fashion, Baldur’s Gate 3 is full of dice rolls and skill checks, much like traditional tabletop games and other Dungeons and Dragons adventures. When you start to include 20-sided dice in your games, things can get a little confusing. While hovering over your characters’ skills in Baldur’s Gate 3, you’ve probably noticed the “+1d4” modifier in the tooltip and, like many players, have absolutely no idea what that means. Continue reading to learn what 1d4 means and how to understand dice notation in Baldur’s Gate 3.

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Baldur’s Gate 3 Dice Notations – 1d4, 2d6, and More

In Baldur’s Gate 3, the term 1d4 means you’re rolling one 4-sided die, while the term 2d6 means you’re rolling two 6-sided dice. This formula, AdX, is commonly used in almost every aspect of the game, where:

  • A = the number of dice to be rolled
  • d = die or dice
  • X = the number of faces of each dice

Dice notation, also known as dice algebra, is a system meant to represent different possible combinations of dice rolls in traditional role-playing games.

Related: How to Hide Your Helmet in Baldur’s Gate 3

The formula can be further added upon with additional variables, such as AdX+B. Check out the example below:

Screenshot by Prima Games

In this instance, the Lacerate skill rolls for 1d12+4 Slashing damage. This means that one 12-sided die is rolled, and 4 is added to the rolled number, meaning the damage could be anywhere between 5 – 16 total.

The formula can be made even more complicated but, luckily, Baldur’s Gate 3 seems to keep it pretty simplified while usually providing the basic number range right above the dice notation. However, it’s important to note that these formulas aren’t only found in combat skills; you will often see them in various other aspects of the game like dialogue skill checks.

If you’re new to the classic role-playing game format, you may be scratching your head due to some of the systems in Baldur’s Gate 3. Check out our guide on what Save Failed means in Baldur’s Gate 3 to sharpen up your dungeon master skills even further.

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Matt Vatankhah
Matt's writing career began when he joined Prima Games in 2022. As Managing Editor, he tries to make sure everything you read looks as pretty as possible. He's had a passion for video games all of his life and really loves Final Fantasy, retro FPS, roguelikes, and metroidvanias. He will absolutely stomp you in Tetris.